UCL Medical School


Developing your teaching skills



A great way to improve you teaching is to get feedback. Feedback can come from self-reflection, peer observation and from learners themselves. There are many different ways to get feedback from learners and various types and designs of feedback form. Paul, a previous Clinical Teaching Fellow, has helpfully provided an example form that you can download, print and use.


Training to Teach

This very popular one-day course has been adapted from the TIPS course that was previously offered, based on feedback. It offers practical guidance on developing your teaching skills by improving interaction and applying structure to your teaching sessions with the opportunity to practice these newly acquired skills in a mini-teaching session of your own. The course incorporates core aspects of clinical teaching with small group teaching, with strong links to medical educational theory.

For more information and how to apply please visit Training to Teach


The London Deanery

High quality, accessible, free online modules are provided by the London Deanery. They are a great place to start, to get an overview of various aspects of medical education.

Topics include:

  • assessing educational needs
  • giving feedback
  • setting learning objectives
  • introduction to educational research
  • involving patients in clinical teaching
  • and many more...

Certificates are available on completion of individual modules, to add to your ePortfolio.

UCL Arena

UCL Arena works closely with staff responsible for teaching and learning across UCL, to provide support underpinned by the scholarship of teaching and learning, and grounded in the UCL context. 

Their site has a wealth of cross-disciplinary information. Of specific interest may be:

  • Professional development - for staff with honorary contracts with UCL as teachers and lecturers
  • Advice and Guidelines - both general and discipline-specific
  • Teaching Toolkits - a wealth of ideas and resources to help you influence, motivate and inspire your students. 
  • Courses and workshops - only on offer if you have an academic link to UCL eg an honorary contract with UCL Medical School. You will need a UCL login to book via the single training booking system. If you're a Case of the Month Tutor you will already have a UCL login - lucky you!

Teaching Resources

Below is a collection of resources from external sources, which may be useful:

  • to help you develop your teaching skills
  • to further your interest in medical education

UCL Medical School does not necessarily endorse the content of external sites.

Series of Articles

Giving better presentations:

Anatomy resources:

Mnemonics/memory aids:

Social media in medical education:


The Royal College of Physicians: Acute Care Toolkit

The Royal College of Physicians recently published the "Acute Care Toolkit 5: Teaching on the Acute Medical Unit." This contains a wealth of practical advice on maximising teaching and learning opportunities in the AMU. The principles apply to Postgraduate Trainees, as well as Undergraduate students


Accreditation for Medical Education

There are various ways in which you can get accreditation for your work in Medical Education:

Certificates for individual roles

UCL Medical School endorses the programmes and roles listed in this teaching portal. If you take on a role and provide teaching as part of one of these programmes you will receive an official certificate which you can add to your ePortfolio. Talk to your programme lead about this. 

Awards and Recognition of best practice

The Quality Assurance Unit manages a number of schemes which aim to highlight and support excellence and/or commission improvements in the delivery of undergraduate medical education. These include the Top Teacher Award, and the Excellence in Medical Education Award.

Higher Education Academy

If you make a sustained commitment to teaching and engage with the literature relevant to medical education, you could apply to become an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, through the Individual Recognition Route. The HEA website provides information on the criteria for recognition, and the details of the application process (requires an application form, references and a small fee). Then you can add even more letters to your name (AFHEA)!


In the same way that you may have undertaken small research projects and audits alongside your clinical role, you may wish to think about research projects in medical education, and pursue opportunities to present at National and International Conferences, and submit letters or papers to journals.

If you have ideas for research projects and would like advice and support, talk to your site lead (see relevant pages), a Clinical Teaching Fellow or another member of the research staff at UCL Medical School. Have a look at the Medical Education Journals out there and the types of articles they publish before you start your project. 


The GMC is undertaking a comprehensive review of its approach to quality assuring medical education and training. Watch this space for news on new ways that medical educators will seek accreditation throughout their career. 

Get an Academic Qualification

The MSc in Medical Education is jointly run by UCL Medical School and the Royal College of Physicians. It is a 3 year course, building to an MSc, although participants can leave with a Postgraduate Certificate after 1 year, and a Postgraduate Diploma after 2 years. The course involves a mixture of attendance days at the RCP in London, and self-directed learning, with assessed written assignments. Further information can be found on the RCP site.

The MA Clinical Education addresses the contemporary context, educational theory and practical teaching skills relevant to practitioners of all disciplines involved in the education and training of Doctors and other health care workers

The MSc Health Professions Education offers an exciting interprofessional programme that has been designed by UCL Medical School to meet the needs of practitioners of all disciplines involved in the education and training of medical, nursing and other healthcare staff.

Taking your studies even further could lead to a Doctorate. Twelve Tips for Studying Medical Education at Doctorate Level provides advice about the important steps on this journey.


Giving great feedback

Good quality feedback must be at the heart of all your teaching. It is an essential part of the teaching and learning process, but is surprisingly difficult to do well. There are several models and frameworks for giving feedback, which aim to ensure that it is specific, fair and useful to the trainee. A BMJ article "Giving feedback" gives some background to why feedback sometimes goes wrong, and a guide for how to do it well.


Developed in the 1980s. Most people are aware of and use this model to structure feedback. 

  1. The trainee is asked to identifying his or her own strengths
  2. The trainer reinforces these and adds further strengths
  3. The trainee is asked to identify areas for improvement
  4. The trainer reinforces these, adding further areas if necessary, ensuring constructive suggestions are given for improvement


A BMJ article "Giving feedback in clinical settings" explores how to use this model in context. The Pendleton is a good start, as it helps the learner set the objectives, gives positive feedback first for safety, and encourages specific rather than generic feedback. However, it has limitations, can seem formulaic and the feedback given is often superficial.


An alternative is the SET-GO method which can be very useful in a bedside teaching context with a group. It was developed by Silverman et al as part of the Calgary-Cambridge approach to teaching communication skills.

  • Other group members feedback on:

    • What I Saw was... (specific, descriptive)
  • Teacher prompts if necessary with:

    • What Else did you see, group?
    • What did you Think, learner? (encourage learner to problem solve for themselves)
  • Teacher then facilitates whole group in problem-solving

    • Let's clarify what Goal we would like to achieve.
    • Any Offers of how we could achieve this?

As well as needing a structure, the feedback that is actually given must be high quality. 

  • Balanced. Include both good and bad points
  • Observed. Only give examples of what you have seen the learner see and do, don't bring in your preconceptions or previous experience
  • Objective or Owned. Make sure your feedback is factual and based on actions, not any prior emotional response you may have to the person
  • Specific. Always use specific examples to illustrate a comment. Exactly why or how was the action done well or badly? Avoid broad statements
  • Timely. Feedback should be given as close to the event as possible to ensure accuracy and effectiveness

Alternatively you can view a description of the BOOST model as a video.

Other things to consider are where and when you give feedback, and who else is present at the time. A further consideration is how much feedback to give in order to maximise learning, and not overload the learner. 

A presentation from the Higher Education Academy entitled "Giving Feedback: Tools of the Trade" is available on slideshare.